Can an Arduino PLC talk the same language as a Beckhoff PLC? Absolutely yes! In this video we will make an Arduino PLC talk to a Beckhoff PLC using Modbus TCP. The Arduino PLC will act as a Modbus TCP client, and the Beckhoff PLC will act as a Modbus TCP server. By utilizing two function blocks, we will make the Arduino both read and write registers in the Beckhoff PLC.
Cleaning my keyboard
A dirty keyboard is a little bit like dirty underwear. It works, but it doesn’t feel right.
The keyboard is my preferred way to communicate with the world. It’s one of these tools that we use so often that it’s taken for granted. I’m quite picky with keyboards & keycaps, and over the years many have come and gone. A few have stayed. I’ve more or less set on four sets that are my primary work horses, and I rotate between them from week to week. Working at the computer every day makes the keyboard a little gross. I have a tiny ritual where I carefully clean my keyboards, so that they feel nice & fresh. I’d thought I’d share the complete cleaning process of one of my keyboards through a YouTube-video.
4 things we want in TwinCAT 4
I’ve been using TwinCAT 3 more or less since it was released, and since then it has become such an integrated part of my daily work that it’s my main software development platform. I like to develop software using TwinCAT 3, but I’ve come to the conclusion that there are some features I miss. I’m not the only person that uses TwinCAT 3, and this video is made in collaboration with someone that has vastly more experience in industrial automation than me – Peter Kurhajec. As we both work with TwinCAT 3 on a daily basis, we decided to do a video with the title “4 things we want in TwinCAT 4”. Consider this as a wish list for a future version of TwinCAT, so some kind of dream session.
5000 YouTube subscribers celebration with F.A.Q.
I wanted to share with you a tiny celebration and some frequently asked questions, as I’ve recently reached 5000 subscribers on my YouTube channel. I didn’t even know whether there was 5000 people that work with TwinCAT 3 on planet Earth, let alone that would be interested in a TwinCAT 3 related YouTube channel!
The nights of the Perseids
Although I mostly use this blog to post TwinCAT-related stuff, I sometimes make exceptions. This blog post is such an exception.
I was recently on vacation in the Stockholm archipelago on the island Utö. Together with my wife I stayed there during the nights of the Perseid meteor shower. The Perseids are a meteor shower associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle. The peak of the Perseids happened during the night between 12th and 13th of August. Utö is an ideal location for this as it’s quite remote and far from bigger cities and thus has a very dark sky. This year there was no moon that interrupted either so conditions were fantastic. We spent several nights under the stars and saw many Perseids. I brought my DSLR camera and a small tripod with me, so during these nights I made sure to take lots of photos to create a time lapse, which you can see below. Note that the moving light streaks in the movie are not Perseids. These are airplanes and satellites. The Perseids are only visible during one frame at a time in the time lapse so they just flicker by. In the movie you can see one Perseid which I’ve explicitly prepared so that you can see it in slow motion.
Being out for a couple of nights with perfect conditions made me realize how much I’ve missed the stars 💔.
Making of a YouTube video
I’m currently doing a YouTube tutorial called “PLC programming using TwinCAT 3“, which is one of the biggest hobby projects I’ve ever committed myself to. When I started with the tutorial I had a gut-feeling that it would probably take a huge amount of time to pull this one off. Initially, I guessed I would have to spend around five minutes of work for every minute of produced movie (ratio of 5:1). Now that I’ve done a couple of videos and actually clocked the time it takes all I can say is that ….boy, was I completely off with that guess! Lately I have been receiving many e-mails and messages with the question “When is the next part of the tutorial coming out?”. Instead of just providing the boring and generic answer “When it’s finished” I have decided that I will instead try to explain what it takes to do a YouTube video, and why I am not releasing a video every week.
1000 YouTube subscribers
I have reached 1000 subscribers on YouTube! I never thought I’d get anywhere close to this huge amount of subscribers, especially not this fast! Since I published the first episodes of the “PLC programming using TwinCAT 3 tutorial” in the beginning of March on YouTube, the channel has received over 30.000 views. It seems free PLC programming tutorials are appreciated. It’s time to celebrate and answer some questions that I’ve got from you viewers!
TDD with TwinCAT using TcUnit – A YouTube tutorial
Sharing knowledge with other TwinCAT developers using a blog is not only an easy and good way, but it’s also quite fun. After a long day at work, I often find it enjoying to sit down and write a little bit on a new blog post. Quite recently I launched TcUnit – the TwinCAT unit testing framework and even though there now is tons of documentation and example code on the official website, some people prefer to learn by watching a video. For this reason I’ve created a series of four videos that will introduce TwinCAT software developers to test driven development (TDD) and how to do TDD using TcUnit.